Dyslexia task force puts together set of recommendations

The Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia has put together a set of wide-ranging recommendations aimed at helping educators help students who are struggling in reading. 

The proposals, finalized Thursday, will now go to the State Board of Education on Tuesday and then later to House and Senate education committees for review. 

A pricetag wasn’t put on the recommendations, but task force members said they would like to keep the group going for the next several years to monitor progress and implementation. The task force tabbed the State Board of Education for putting the proposals into motion with funding approved by the Legislature. 

The recommendations cover training of future teachers, professional development of teachers already in the classroom and improved screening and evaluation of students to assess characteristics of dyslexia. 

Among the specific recommendations, the task force said the State Board should: 

— Direct the creation of a dyslexia handbook for use by schools and identify a dyslexia coordinator within the Kansas State Department of Education; 

— Require every school district to screen and identify students at risk of dyslexia or demonstrating the characteristics of dyslexia; 

— Encourage colleges of education in Kansas to develop a course of study with a specialization in dyslexia; 

— Require candidates for K-6 teaching licenses and others to pass an examination on the science of reading.

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